While the Golden State Warriors continue to dominate the headlines in their march toward history, the other competing storyline is the impending retirement of Lakers legend Kobe Bryant.
The 20-year veteran is more than halfway through his “Farewell Tour,” as opposing franchises and fans have granted him standing ovations, personalized gifts, and touching video tributes. However, this past All-Star Weekend served as the first time for players to really show their appreciation to Bryant.
At an exclusive dinner party called the “Gentleman’s Supper Club,” many of Kobe’s closest NBA friends attended. Among others, the list included Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony who each had a parting gift for Bryant.
Wade presented Kobe with a yearlong subscription to Netflix – a present that is almost too funny to imagine. Bryant’s never-ending determination to hone his craft makes it all-but-impossible to picture Kobe sitting down and streaming television for hours on end.
Paul had even more fun with his gift, presenting Kobe with the essentials for any senior citizen – glasses, a cane and compression socks. It was a not-so-subtle jab at the 37-year-old, but one that Kobe had no problem laughing at.
While Paul and Wade went the gag gift route, Melo decided to pay proper homage to his childhood idol. Anthony presented Bryant with a magnum of 1996 vintage Gaja Barbaresco in perfect reference to one of Kobe’s many nicknames – Vino.
With the Lakers sitting at a humiliating 11-44, there’s a good chance Kobe finishes Carmelo’s gift by season’s end.